The Last Stand – new exhibition to open at Fort Nelson - Friday, 26 April 2013

Royal Armouries showcases the award-winning work of photographer Marc Wilson at Fort Nelson from Friday, May 3 – documenting some of the last physical remnants of 20th century warfare in the UK and Northern Europe.

Marc – winner of a prestigious Terry O’Neill award for photography* – is renowned for powerful but understated images that encourage people to reflect on the defiance, pathos and tragedy of war.

His new exhibition includes a stunning image taken at Hayling Island in Hampshire, marking its role during the Second World War, and the preparations for D-Day.

Fort Nelson is a fitting venue for Marc’s exhibition as it played a vital role in the defence of Portsmouth during the 1939-45 conflict, with a former anti-aircraft gun battery sited at nearby Monument Farm. It is now home to the national collection of artillery – the big guns.
Marc said, “I believe the project fits into the vision of Royal Armouries, strongly. The subject matter is one that has impacted on all generations, whether directly or through family histories and memories. The ideas contained within are important for both current and future generations to know, understand, and learn from.

“The imagery used allows the viewer access to dwell on what is at its heart a traditional documentary subject but through a different visual medium – that of the landscape.

The images themselves are photographed throughout the UK and along the coast of France and Belgium, and so will have appeal to both local and wider audiences”

Since 2010, Marc has been researching, recceing and shooting the photos that make up the Last Stand, documenting some of the remaining military defence structures around UK and European coasts.

While he captures the individual beauty of these objects, the photographic series should be viewed as much more than a set of traditional landscapes.

The exhibition runs until October 1, as part of the Royal Armouries’ Inspired By programme – an initiative which harnesses the talents of community groups and individuals and invites them to represent the museum’s national collections in exciting and innovative ways. It then moves to the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

Museum entry is free and includes admission to the exhibition. For more information and opening times, visit

*Marc won a Terry O’Neill award earlier this year, after being shortlisted from 900 applicants. For more information about the photographer, please visit his website at

Standing high on Portsdown Hill near Fareham, Fort Nelson showcases one of the world’s finest collections of artillery and cannon, from across the ages and from all corners of the globe.

In 2011, this unique heritage attraction underwent a £3.5m redevelopment to create a museum for the 21st century, supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, complete with new galleries, state-of-the-art education centre and visitor facilities.

There’s also a 19-acre site to explore, complete with underground tunnels – and the Café 1871 is open every day.

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Notes to editors

To find Fort Nelson, follow the brown Tourist signs from the M27. The Fort is open seven days a week, from 10am to 5pm.

Download the PDF press release.